The Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 (22 of 1955) Statement of Objects and Reasons : Under article 17 of the Constitution, untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with the law. As no Central law exists on the subject, a law has to be enacted by Parliament as required by sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of article 35 of the Constitution and the Bill has been prepared in pursuance of this requirement. It is not possible to define untouchability and, therefore, the scheme of the draft Bill is to make express provisions with respect to the more common forms of untouchability which are practised in India. The special features of this Bill, as compared with tie existing State laws on the subject, are that- (a) the Bill is not, confined to Hindus; (b) an untouchable shall not cease to be an untouchable if he resides in any locality other than the locality mentioned in relation to him under the Constitution (Schedule Castes) Order, 1950; (c) whoever takes any part in the excommunication of, or imposition of any social disability on, any person who refuses to practise untouchability or does any act in furtherance of the objects of this new law will also be guilty of an offence; (d) in addition to the normal penalty for an offence, the Court may also cancel or suspend, any licence in respect of profession, trade, calling or employment when an offence is committed under this law during the course of any such profession, trade, calling or employment. Offences under this new law are to be cognizable. Statement of Objects and Reasons-Amendment Act 106 of 1975 : Untouchability has been abolished by article 17 of the Constitution, and in pursuance of the provision of article 35 of the Constitution, the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 was passed by Parliament to make the practice of untouchability a cognizable offence. During the working of this Act, it was noticed that there were some lacunae in the provisions and that these loopholes needed to be plugged. In April 1965, the Government of India appointed the Committee on Untouchability, Educational and Economic Development of the Schedule Castes under the Chairmanship of Shri L. Elavaperumal to examine, inter alia, the problem of untouchability vis-a-vis the working of the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955, and to make recommendations to the Government for amendments to the Act. The Committee submitted its report in January 1969 in which it made certain recommendations with a view to plugging the loopholes and making the penal provisions more stringent. The present Bill seeks to give effect to some of the recommendations made by the said Committee. --------- An Act to prescribe punishment for the 1.[preaching and practice of untouchability,] for the enforcement of any disability arising therefrom and for matters connected therewith. Be it enacted by Parliament in the Sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows: Section 1 : Short title, extent and commencement : (1) This Act may be called 2.[The Protection of Civil Rights Act] , 1955. (2) It 3.[extends] to the whole of India. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint. ---------- 1. Substituted for "Practice of untouchability" by Act 106 of 1976, Section 2, (w.e.f. 19.11.1976). 2. Substituted by Act 106 of 1976, Section 3, for "the Untouchability (Offences) Act" (w.e.f. 19.11.1976). 3. Extended to Goa, Daman and Diu with modification by Reg. 12 of 1962, section 3 and Schedule; to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963, ssection 2 and Schedule I (w.e.f. 1st July, 1965) and to Pondicherry by Reg. 7 of 1963, ssection 3 and Schedule I (w.e.f. 1.10.1963). .
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